Press release

Statement of the EL Secretariat in solidarity with the Palestinian people

News Image
Published on: 14.01.2020

Solidarity with the Palestinian people

Denouncing the “deal of the century” project of the US

The so-called “deal of the century”, proposed by the US administration in order to liquidate the Palestinian cause and practically end all rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, to establish their independent national State and to have the right to return of the refugees. In this frame, the Trump administration moved its embassy to Jerusalem, and recently recognized the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank as legal. The right of return of the Palestinian refugees was further eroded by the recent US decision to cut the funding of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) responsible for supporting the Palestinian refugees. This has led to practically crippling its work and depriving the Palestinians in refugee camps from basic services like health, care and education.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government continues its aggressions against the Palestinians, expanding its illegal settlements and its embargo and attacks against Gaza, benefiting from the full or tacit support of its allies in the US, EU and NATO. The adoption of the “Jewish nation state” by the Israeli parliament is a further step towards depriving Palestinians of their rights as well as threatening their future with a new wave of forced migration away from their lands, based on ethnic cleansing.

Today over 760,000 Israeli settlers are living in the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem, violating the rules of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting any occupational power to transfer its population to an occupied territory. The UN General Assembly has adopted resolutions (i.e. 242 and 338) denouncing the Israeli occupation, declaring it to be illegal and calling for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. Again, in 2004 a UN General Assembly resolution underlined the right of the Palestinian people to their territory. The occupation of the West Bank is furthermore referred to as illegal by the International Court in the Hague. In 2012, the UN recognized Palestine as an observer state of the UN.

The colonial expansionist policies against the Palestinians feed the ultra-right in Israel. The Jewish fundamentalism is growing in a symbiotic relationship with Islamic fundamentalism. As a result, the people of Israel are also the victims of the dominant policies, which perpetuate militarism and reproduce fear within their society through never-ending conflict and war for many years to come, including renewed war with neighboring countries, as Israel moves to extend its interests beyond Israeli borders, as we have seen in Syria. The US recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israel also legitimizes Israeli expansionist policies.

A just solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict

The European Left expresses its regrets at the present aggravation of the situation due to US and Israeli aggression. The EL, therefore:

  • Supports increasing the political pressure on the Israeli government to stop and reverse the settlement policy and for a total withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories in keeping with UN resolutions.
  • Condemns the full US support of the Israeli adoption of the “Jewish nation-state” together with many of its allies and subordinate governments, and the complimentary decision to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
  • Reiterate our support for a just peace based on the UN resolutions with a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital and with the return of the Palestinian refugees. A two state just solution based on equal security is a viable one. We call for the recognition of the Palestinian state by the EU member states – and by as many countries and institutions as possible, which would be an important step in that direction.
  • Denounces the strategies which criminalize peace and solidarity activists.

To obtain a total withdrawal from the occupied territories we demand:

  • the suspension of the EU-Israel association agreement, including the preferential trade agreement, as long as Israel violates international law
  • to stop the special Israeli relation to NATO, including a closure of its permanent mission at NATO headquarters
  • the banning of goods from the occupied areas in the West Bank
  • an end to the repression and criminalization of BDS activists.

A just solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is a key to begin dismantling the conflicts in the Middle East and Arab region, a hot spot area where there is a severe risk of spreading and intensifying conflict and war, as long as imperialist, chauvinist and religious interests determine the future.

The wars of the region are also fuelled by the global arms industry, which is profiting more than ever. The European Left demands that the EU governments act to bring about an immediate stop to all arms trade and military training with Israel, as well as with the governments of the region using those weapons for intraregional and internal destructive wars.

Alarmed by the danger of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,  the EL supports a Mediterranean nuclear-free zone, free from NATO and any foreign military bases, in order to prevent destructive wars and to promote peace.

The European Left greets warmly the democratic, left and peace forces inside Israel, including youth objecting to doing their military service in the occupied territories, fighting against Israeli occupation of Palestine and demanding a free and independent Palestinian State.